JUDY: My father taught me how to lie with a smile on my face. I was five or six. He’d smile at me and say, “Don’t tell you mother.” But my mother was not the kind of women you could just say nothing to. I was standing in an apartment. Dingy. Green shag carpet, couch covered in lint from a raggedy blanket. It was the side-house where my father took all of his women. He showed it off to me because I was his best friend and there was no one else who understood him – well that’s what he told me. But I was a girl…maybe five or six. I could smell another woman in the bathroom. My hands were covered in dirt because the dashboard of his car was so filthy. I was taking my plastic giraffe for a walk on it when he said, “I want to take you to my new place.” I was so excited. I hadn’t seen him in weeks. Day-after-day I had sat at my window waiting to see the headlights of his beat up Cadillac make the sharp turn into our half gravel/have mud driveway. And today we were going to his place. My best friends pad. He bought me a new plastic giraffe at the local department store and some recess peanut butter cups to go with his pack of Newport’s at the Getty. His tank was always on empty. We were always getting towed back home right before making it to the mall. Or if we did make it he’d lock his keys inside. I’d stand there watching him roam around the parking lot trying to charm a coat hanger off of a stranger. Everything was so damp. The leaves on the ground, anything that was made of wood; the porch, the doorframe…and then the laundry on his recliner, damp, smelly, washed but never hung up to dry. You could taste the air and it had tangible mass that seamed to steer you from one room to the next. The window in his bathroom wasn’t covered and I could see a boy fishing in the river. He was alone. I dropped my giraffe down the toilet intentionally and flushed it.
This is me. Christine Jean.
Photographer/Writer/ Swiss Army Knife